The Way We Were
by Steve Des Landes (2007)
in consultation with Invergordon Business Association
You can feel the energy of the Royal Marine Band marching down Invergordon High Street, as they have in the past when the Royal Navy fleet were regular visitors to Invergordon’s deep water anchorage.
The King Edward drinking fountain is of pink granite. It was erected by public subscription to commemorate the visit by King Edward and Queen Alexandra 8th September 1902. It was allegedly knocked down 7 times before removal to the entrance to the town!
Davy Coon (Ross) cycled down the high street daily and Steve Des Landes noticed this and included him in the mural. Davy was nicknamed Coon because he always used to whistle when he was younger and there was a famous whistler called coon and the name stuck!
Reminiscence Event at Invergordon Museum
Local people shared memories of Invergordon High Street throughout the ages and gave artist Steve a sense of the High Street’s history, at a reminiscence event held at Invergordon Museum as part of this mural project. A list of 80 businesses from past eras was collected that day. More are listed in records at the museum.
Steve’s sketch of the mural
Mural emerging on the wall
“The Way We Were takes a trip down memory lane for many of the locals who remembered a thriving town with over 80 local businesses.
It amazed us when we saw the published list !
In the foreground, the fountain is in its original position. The marine band play as they did every time the fleet left Invergordon. And there in the background, in the quirky twisted perspective that are Des Landes hallmarks, are the oil tanks and the Royal hotel.
If you look closely you will see the tailor’s shop, which made navy uniforms, the picture house, and the dance halls transported from local memories to the canvas are all there-as is the old chemist shop with the ever constant water bowl put out for thirsty dogs.
The town crier, also a feature of living memory, cries out in the foreground.
Davy Ross cycles past on his bike as he did every day to visit his wife’s grave. He was still passing in his eighties when Steve painted this mural.
Davy had the honour of featuring in 2 of the murals – this one and The Long Goodbye at the station. In The Long Goodbye look out for him in his Seaforths uniform sharing a joke with a fellow soldier sitting on the bench – he’s the one wearing the hat.”
Marion Rhind, founder of Invergordon Off the Wall
High street shops from different eras are included in the mural
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